When my babies were young, I was talking with my dearest friend, offering her what I thought was “wisdom” in a struggle she faced. I’m going to blame it on being too young to know better, but I thought unsolicited advice was what friends wanted, and Lord knows I’ve always had plenty of that to offer! Little did I know that advice is often laced with our own poison…judgment.
The wisdom came anyway and before I could dot the “I”, she fired back, “You know, Donna, you have an image of me that you just won’t let go of. You won’t let me change or be different than who you think I am.” Angry, she got up and walked out the door. In my surprise and my guilt and shame for what I’d said, I still GOT IT. And, I never forgot it, though many many times in my life I have regressed and done it again and again.
Enjoying a lovely evening out this week with a delightful new friend we talked about our desire to connect, have community and friends who show up and meet us halfway most of the time. She told me a story about a recent disappointment in a friendship very important in her life. The details aren’t important, but what she said took me back to what had happened over tea with that friend “back in the day”. She said it so well…“Sometimes people won’t let us change. They only see us the way they always have.”
I owned a tea room once in a little California seaside town. The “ladies who lunch” were often in their late 80’s and 90’s. I often asked them for their secret to life. It was always the same…“Keep moving, don’t sit down in front of a tv, learn something every day, and keep changing and growing.” One woman said, “When you stop growing, you’re dead!”
Are you growing and learning? If you’re reading this, you’re not dead yet! And, can you allow that friend of yours to grow and change, provided she or he is still alive? I hope you will open your eyes to how pigeon-holing yourself will limit the joy of change. I hope that you will allow others around you to change, and notice and celebrate it. And, most importantly, that you will listen carefully, aware of that deadly judgment, and ask questions before you write your own script about someone else.
Now, “Sally forth!” and Live, Love and Enjoy those changes! Take a risk today to see yourself as you are NOW!
Are you ready to look forward and find someone to love?
You’ve changed since your last relationship and when you learn who you are now, you’ll be able to know who you’d like to share this amazing chapter of your sweet life.
I’m honored to be your guide and when you’re ready, I offer a Complimentary Intake Session. Call me or email me.
Donna Bailey, MS
Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups
Donna’s Big Red Chair